Minnesota Vikings ‘Quarterback Competition’ is More of a Competition Between Office and Coaches
The Minnesota Vikings have both of their starting quarterbacks from last year, and they have a brand new prized possession from the NFL Draft in Teddy Bridgewater. Now, just a few months before the start of the season, the watch for who becomes the starter for Week 1 begins.
The early battle that I’m watching so far though is the “QB Competition” between Vikings General Manager Rick Speilman, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, and Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner.
Now remember, we are way early in determining an actual winner for the season considering that training camp doesn’t begin for a bit. Articles began with Mike Zimmer talking about how Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder, and Bridgewater would have an open competition this training camp for the starting position.
That all sounds fine, but is it really the truth? Does anyone actually believe that Ponder really has a chance to take this job? Enter Spielman. Spielman has the shortest leash when it comes to ownership and fans as he missed on his 2011 12th overall pick. If Ponder was to take the field on Week 1, Minnesota fans would freak out with a young quarterback on the roster. If Cassel wins the job, Vikings fans will be content knowing that the “veteran” will teach the “rookie” while the other guy (Ponder) holds the clipboard.
Zimmer shouldn’t have his job ride on the quarterback directly this season, being his first. In turn, he doesn’t have a whole lot to worry about there but he would probably be more inclined to work with Spielman in choosing the QB that “fits” for the year.
Turner is the wild card. Recently, Turner pointed out that Bridgewater has great accuracy and can throw the deep ball. Both of those traits are sure to excite Vikings fans as they haven’t really seen either of those in a long while. The deal with Turner is that he has the opportunity to build this offense specifically around certain players. We know that Turner likes the deep ball, and if Bridgewater can do that and fits the best in his system, then he will make that push for Bridgewater.
However, I anticipate that this isn’t what Spielman wants Turner to really discuss right now. As mentioned, Spielman’s leash is rather short and if Turner keeps boasting about how great Bridgewater is and then he turns out to be a bust, then you can say bye bye Spielman. Zimmer and Turner still get the pass. Fans always get excited about rookie quarterbacks, and if all we hear about is how great one is while another is playing then it won’t turn out great.
While the quarterback position battle itself will be fun to watch, the politics behind the battle might be even more interesting to watch as training camp approaches and concludes to the regular season. We’ll see if the actual competition comes down to on the field, or if it continues to feel like more of an office competition.